Oh my god. It’s huge. You should see it.

A few weeks ago I spent my entire Sunday being frustrated by learning a million things about Adobe Illustrator. I almost always work in Photoshop. That is the program I know best and where I can actually make whatever is in my head. Illustrator is something very different, but equally useful. I’m just not that good at it. Yet. So it was actually a good thing this new commission forced me to work in Adobe Illustrator.

I was asked to make a couple of simple household objects for a billboard. That means big. As you probably already know Adobe Illustrator allows you to draw in vectors, Photoshop in pixels. The biggest difference between the two is that a vector is basically a line that has no size. You can upscale it all you want and no information will be lost. Pixels however cannot be scaled without losing quality. So to make artwork for a billboard in Photoshop is totally possible, but your document needs to be huge. And the right size from the beginning.

I started by eating a banana. Not kidding. Good for the brain and I photographed the peel to use as my reference.

The banana peel I used for reference. After eating the banana
The banana peel I used for reference. After eating the banana / photo by Annemarie Gorissen

Since I tend to go into detail too much, these clear lines and shapes were kind of liberating. And it took me forever, so I did not want to make it more complicated than it had to be. In the screenshot above you see I tried adding some (scanned) texture in the shading parts. I was happy to see that that was possible and it taught me all sorts of things about masks – that I have already forgotten again by now. In the end I decided to keep it simple and remove the shading textures. It was reassuring to see things – slowly, but surely – turning out as I had them in my head. Now I am hoping to come across these billboards myself, so I can proudly take a selfie with it.

I haven’t seen the other two posters yet (if you see them, snap a picture and show me!) but here are the illustrations I made for them:

The Irado poster with the banana on it as seen in the wild, near Rotterdam
The Irado poster with the banana on it as seen in the wild, near Rotterdam / photo by Irado

Hedra in Adobe Illustrator / illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
A bottle of white vinegar / illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
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